How To Play An Electric Guitar Without An Amplifier?

Unlike classical guitars, electric guitars depend on amplification to sound louder. However, not all electric guitar enthusiasts opt for an amplifier, not just because they are relatively expensive, but they are also too heavy to carry around, they take up a lot of your living space and can cause you a lot of additional costs while using because they require regular maintenance. If your home is not too spacious, or you usually have to travel around with your electric guitar, carrying an amplifier can be a huge inconvenience.

Fortunately, there are now various alternatives available which allow you to amplify your electric guitar with lower costs and with more portable devices. So, in this article, I will recommend the three most common ways you can practice and play your electric instrument without the aid of a full-size amp.

How Do You Play An Electric Guitar Without An Amplifier? There are THREE common ways to play an electric guitar without an amplifier:

  1. Use an audio interface
  2. Use Multi effects processor
  3. Connect guitar to home stereo system

Fortunately, there are now various alternatives which allow you to amplify your electric guitar through other means. In this article, I recommend Four ways which are super easy you can practice without the aid of a full-size amp.

1. Use an audio interface:

Nowadays, a lot of guitar players have utilised their own smartphone or computer to amplify their guitars. The idea here is to connect your technological device to an electric guitar, thus transferring the signals from the guitar to your device and amplifying it through the speaker of your phone/laptop. However, it isn’t that simple, because you need certain pieces of equipment to get this worked.

The most popular option is by using an audio interface, which is a device that processes your guitar’s signals into digital signals just by plugging your guitar cable into it. These signals will be sent to your device via USB. And that’s it, now you can hear the sound of your electric guitar generated from your smartphone’s speaker.

One additional advantage of this idea is that it enables you to play your guitar without bothering anyone. Surprising is it? Here’s how it works: just simply plug in you headphones to your device, play your guitar in silence, because all the sound now can only be heard through the headphones. This will especially benefit those who live with others or those who only have time for practicing late in the evening.

So to sum up, you just need at least a smartphone, an audio interface and a pair of headphones (if necessary) to amplify your guitar. These devices are not only lighter-weighted, but are also more affordable than amplifiers, which allow you to play your guitar literally anywhere

A tip for this kind of amplification is to pay attention what kind of audio interface you are going to buy, as it must be compatible with the device you’re plugging into. There are many audio interfaces that are made specifically for Apple products like the iPhone, iPad and iMac, while there are many genres that only work with Android devices.

One more interesting thing about using your personal device as an amplifier is that you can take advantage of amp simulators, which is a software built to replicate the sound of an guitar amp. After successfully linking your device with your electric guitar, you can use these softwares to change your guitar’s sound into whichever style you like, because they offer a wide range of sound for you to choose from.

2. Use a multi-effects processor:

A multi-effects pedal is another common choice for guitarists in place of the traditional amplifier. Though this is probably the most expensive option on the list, it is acknowledged by many players that multi-effects processors offer the best sounding. Here’s what I fancy about this device: A multi-effects processor is a unit that contains different amp models and effects pedals in a physical unit, so you won’t need to connect your guitar to a computer to modify its sound.

Multi-effects systems with amp and cab modelling can be used live, in the studio or for practice with no need for any other pedals or amplifiers. You can just simply plug your guitar into one end, and the sound signal will come out of the other.

3. Connect your guitar to a home stereo:

If you have already owned a home stereo, this method will be very simple and extremely economical. Apart from the stereo, all you need is a connector that you can purchase at any electronic or music store for merely £5.

It would work best if you keep the stereo volume way down before you connect it to the guitar. Once you have successfully connected 2 devices, turn your guitar’s volume up, then gradually increasing the stereo’s volume up to a reasonable level.


In this article, I have introduced 3 methods for playing guitar without an amp. To wrap things up, you can use an audio interface, a multi-effects pedal or a home stereo to replace amplifiers. As you can see, though an amplifier is said to be something critical to have, there are now alternatives with better portability and that cost you much less.C

Rich Wilde Music

My name is Richard Wilde and go by @richwildemusic on all major social channels. I am an artist, guitar player, and producer. I have been playing guitar for over 15 years and have come to learn the "tips" and "tricks" to enhance guitar playing, recording guitar, setting up guitar, and overall get that professional sound.

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